Secretary Poster

Release Date: September 27th, 2002

DVD Release Date: April 1st, 2003

R|1 hr 52 min

Plot Summary
Lee Holloway (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a young woman with a history of severe emotional problems, is released into the care of her overbearing parents following a stay at a mental institution. She finds work as a secretary for a rigid and demanding attorney, E. Edward Grey (James Spader), and starts dating the kind but dull Peter (Jeremy Davies). However, Lee soon realizes she's turned on by Grey's stern demeanor, and begins a sadomasochistic relationship with him.

Cast: James Spader, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jeremy Davies, Patrick Bauchau, Stephen McHattie, Oz Perkins, Jessica Tuck, Amy Locane

Director: Steven Shainberg

Genres: Drama

Production Co: Slough Pond, TwoPoundBag Productions, Double A Films

Keywords: 2000s, House, Love, Office, Mother, Father, Love triangle, Offbeat

Ratings & Reviews

view all
  • Pulls off a neat trick: It's a poignant, sweet-natured love story in which what most of us would call kinky sex - domination, submission, some enthusiastic spanking - is featured prominently, but not pruriently. show more

  • Has enough genuine laughs to eliminate the potential twitters and snickers, and it treats Edward and Lee as people. We end up caring about what happens to these two individuals, even as we smile and laugh at their antics. show more

  • Lee's journey of the body and soul is something else. Maggie Gyllenhaal makes it strangely touching, a revelation.

See all critic reviews on


Nominated Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical